It’s a weird news day involving melons, police and fruit aliens on Mars?

The New York Times accidentally published and then deleted Thursday a mock report that watermelons had been discovered on Mars, prompting hilarity on social media.

“Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars, Police Say,” was the headline of the article, written by “Joe Schmoe.”

“Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons,” the report continued, as seen in an archived version. “The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted. This story is terribly boring.”

It added: “watermelon taste good, police say.”

The article was promptly deleted and now links to a statement that it was published in error. It appears it was created to test a content management system and was accidentally sent out into the world.

“Earlier today, a mock article intended for a testing system was published on our site in error,” a spokesperson for The New York Times told HuffPost. “The article has since been removed.”

Readers were disappointed to learn the space melon discovery wasn’t real. Others were ready to slam on their tinfoil hats. Check out the Twitter merriment below.

Put it back up, cowards

— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 8, 2021

The people need to know. #watermelons

— ElleCue (@ElleCue) June 8, 2021

What's happening at the NYT

— Jon Christian (@Jon_Christian) June 8, 2021

Honestly a bit disappointed it's not a 10k word feature complete with interactive visuals.

— Tony Ho Tran (@TonyHoWasHere) June 8, 2021

I, for one, would be very interested in watermelons from Mars 🍉

— Chris Taylor (@christaylor_nyc) June 8, 2021

I'll probably get fired for this, if not worse, but it's worth it.The watermelons are real.

— Robin Berjon (@robinberjon) June 8, 2021

i'm being silenced

— cara giaimo (@cjgiaimo) June 8, 2021

Tell us the truth about Martian watermelons, NYT! We deserve to know.

— Jeremy C. Shipp (they/them) (@JeremyCShipp) June 8, 2021

Me, a space reporter, on the phone to my sources: "So have you.. heard about the, um.. watermelons on Mars?"

— Marina Koren (@marinakoren) June 8, 2021

I want to believe #spacewatermelon 🚀🍉

— Scott Kominers (@skominers) June 8, 2021 Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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